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Google Fiber Pondering 9 New Metro Areas 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-the-northeast-weep dept.
New submitter GreyWanderingRogue writes "Google is looking to expand beyond the three current cities using Google Fiber. They're currently still in the discussion stages, but they've invited 34 cities in 9 major metropolitan areas to talk about deployment. They'll need to study 'topography (e.g. hills, flood zones), housing density, and the condition of local infrastructure' in each of the cities, so it will be interesting to see how many make it to completion. Check the map to see if you're one of the lucky few. The Atlanta, Portland and Raleigh-Durham areas each have a cluster of cities being considered. Not in one of these cities? It might be a while yet..."
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Google Fiber Pondering 9 New Metro Areas

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  • by BisuDagger (3458447) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:25PM (#46289443)
    then go one more day with Comcast. Jacksonville, Fl makes me a sad puppy. Looks like I'm waiting even longer for something good to come along.
    • Part of your high fiber diet?
  • ...that they consider my area. The two consumer-grade broadband solutions kind of suck even though we were a pilot city for the original cablemodem spec, but oh, I would so love to have fiber to the NID, even if I'd have to buy my own single-mode gbic to make it happen...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...that they consider my area.

      Me too! Come over to Albuquerque, Google. Please! It's almost on a straight line between Kansas City and Phoenix, so it shouldn't be too hard to add us into your network.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:28PM (#46289485)

    Google bought the tax payer funded network in Provo, Utah for $1.

    http://transmission.xmission.com/2014/02/19/google-fiber-in-salt-lake-city

  • by erice (13380) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:35PM (#46289539) Homepage

    A friend of mine has had Google Fiber in Kansas City for several months. She still keeps here DSL as backup because Google Fiber goes down frequently, sometimes several times in one day.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:41PM (#46289619)

      Kansas Citian here. I've never had problems with Google Fiber going down. I've had instances where my wi-fi seemed to momentarily drop, but that happened occasionally with my old router too and it hasn't ever lasted more than a few seconds. The only prolonged outage that I've noticed was an hour or so when (ironically) I couldn't access google.com, but the rest of the internet still worked fine.

      • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:49PM (#46289713) Homepage Journal

        I've only had Google Fiber 3 weeks, but so far it's been solid. Maybe a 2-second hang here and there, but otherwise fine.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I've had precisely zero problems with Comcast.

        With Comcast.

        Anecdotal evidence about ISPs is of the same value as anecdotal evidence about hard drive manufacturers.

      • by alen (225700)

        this is 2014
        put everything on wifi with a few dozen of your neighbors and then blame the ISP for every hiccup

        i used to have xbox live disconnect when playing single player. put everything on cat5 and most of my problems magically vanished.

        Wifi is like the old Layer 1 networks. everyone is broadcasting all their traffic into the air around you and your router and devices are trying to filter it out. that's why it keeps disconnecting

        • Yeah seen same issues with Wifi, its not perfect.

          My friend had problems with latency in real games, and
          tried his cat5 and it all went away.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Well, in that case I'm glad that I have Time Warner at 113 with no dropouts or problems. Thanks for the competition, Google Fiber!
    • by jddeluxe (965655)
      This is total bullshit. I've had gigabit Google Fiber since 17 Sep 2013, today was the first time I had to reset the Network box...
  • by megalon (19030) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:36PM (#46289561)

    Why not run fiber in the entire valley instead of just Scottsdale and Tempe? The north and west sides of Phoenix has a lot of families that could use 1 Gbs or 10 Gbs Internet.

    • by Durrik (80651) <pwright.ryksyll@com> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:21PM (#46289967) Homepage
      I was thinking the same thing. Why not Chandler (SE side), where Intel has two fabs, Freescale has an office, Microchip is located and a bunch of other big high tech companies? You're going to have a hell of a lot of high tech workers just begging for gigabit Internet. But that may be the reason, they may not want tech savvy people at it, because then they'll have a heavy stress test.
    • From what I hear, it is mostly based on how much the city is willing to bend backwards to accommodate a quick rollout. Google doesnt have to work with uncooperative cities.

      • From what I hear, it is mostly based on how much the city is willing to bend backwards to accommodate a quick rollout. Google doesnt have to work with uncooperative cities.

        This is true. Overland Park [kctv5.com] got dropped because the city government was being uncooperative.

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Scottsdale and Tempe seem good, but Chandler/Gilbert seem pretty glaring omissions.

      Nobody cares about the West Side except the stadium area. It's all slowly turning into Metro Center.

    • They will hit it all. They are simply starting in those areas, because the locals have made fast internet a priority.
      Of course, if the other locations are ran by idiots who do not care, then Google will likely not do it.
  • atl/ga corruption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:37PM (#46289573)

    coworkers & I were just talking about need to proactively appoint an independent prosecutor w/expedited subpoena/investigative power to find/expose and financial ties between comcast/at&t and any politicians who will inevitably try to block/obstruct this!

    • The tech jobs in GA posted on Slashdot are heavily based in Alpharetta, and yet it's not in the list of cities they are considering. (And getting them to extend it down the 316 corridor is also wishful thinking, but Athens sure could use some options.)
      • All this exurban sprawl to Alpharetta needs to stop. The only thing that has been accomplished is that people living elsewhere in the metro area are screwed because all the infrastructure is designed to facilitate a commute towards downtown, while now the center of mass for jobs is near (or outside) the Perimeter. It is absurd that people can live right next to downtown, yet are forced to suffer through an hour commute anyway. Anything that shifts development back inside the Perimeter is a good thing!

    • Hope you are ready for an IRS audit, lol.

  • "No matter how much we suck, we still don't ComcastTimeWarner suck. Yet."

    • Based on my experience with TW internet, and my mom's with TW cable, it would take a hell of a lot of suck to compete with them. Don't know about Comcast, but it sounds like they're no improvement over TW.

  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Cat (19816) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:43PM (#46289635)

    Competition is needed. Meanwhile, for all the people who are pissed off about Comcast, there is a solution.

    Buy a controlling share in the company.

    Before you scoff, consider all the companies that would benefit from Comcast not being an obstacle (Google, Netflix, Apple, Charter, Twitter, plus about 100,000 startups). For about $67 billion at the current share price, Comcast could be under new ownership.

    $67 billion is chickenshit money up against the assets and revenue of all the parties with a horse in this race.

    Vote out the board, fire the management, vote in a new board, hire new management, and turn Comcast into a defender of net neutrality instead of a problem.

    That's how capitalism works. You know what the best part is? Ain't a fucking thing Comcast can do about it. The company is publicly traded.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      Ain't a fucking thing Comcast can do about it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

    • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:33PM (#46290085) Homepage

      Buy a controlling share in the company.

      There are tools that corporations use [1] [2] to prevent such efforts. Often it's to protect them from a hostile takeover, but the same tools could be used to prevent a populist uprising as well.

      The corporatocracy will not allow us (say even if you did get a kickstarter or other such crowd funded initiative) to dominate Comcast. If this initiative were started, Comcast would have no shortage of tools to put it down.

      Majority fan/employee owned ventures are the exception, not the norm, for this reason (amongst others - coordinating large groups of diverse interests is not easy).

      [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
      [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]

    • by MattGWU (86623)

      Wouldn't this just open the newly-managed Comcast up to the shareholder action for not maximizing the value of their investment? I'm sure they'd have little trouble proving in court that the monopoly status they've enjoyed for so many years is critical to their shareholder value, and you'd have taken pretty obvious, deliberate steps to erode that market advantage and therefore that value. For the good of everybody else, sure, but the remaining 49% of shareholders will probably be pissed.

    • by satsuke (263225)

      Completely impossible .. according to their ownership structure, 83% of the outstanding shares are owned by institutional investors.

      Meaning, even if you created an artificial scarcity by buying up all shares available at any given time .. you'd still be way short of enough to effect change (and in any event, a bunch of individual investors wouldn't have any representation on the board).

      You might be able to do it with an activist institutional investor like Carl Icahn .. but someone like him wouldn't be moti

    • Public shares are not voting shares in some corporations.

      Unless you buy the special shares which are often not available to the general public
      you can't vote the shares.

      Alot of corporations pretend they listen to the public shares, but they don't,
      its only the big money special shares that are usually offered at IPO and
      mostly to key founders and investors of the company.

      So when you think common stock has voting power, no it does not anymore
      in most corporations.

  • The condition of local infrastructure

    Translation: If you've already basically laid most of the fiber for us, we'll buy in and finish it up.

    • by jxander (2605655)

      As a first step, this seems reasonable. Any sane company would take this approach.

      Take over a half-finished product and see it through to completion. The hope, going forward, is that Google can leverage the revenue generated from the roll outs thus far to start building all new infrastructure.

      Fingers crossed.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      There was a project to build out fiber somewhere in Southern California (I cant find a cite for exactly where) but it was abandoned (to the point where there are a bunch of dead fiber ends sticking out of a wall somewhere where they just cut the fiber off when they abandoned it).

      If the fiber is still there it seems perfect for Google to come in and take over. Anyone remember where that was or know whether it would make sense for Google to come there?

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:02PM (#46289827)
    I can't wait for them to keep rolling out everywhere! I want competition with the telecommunication oligopolies who keep playing games with the bill to squeek out more money. If they're not silently raising rates, they start billing you more often than once a month. I can't wait for Google Fiber. I'm excited.
  • by Koreantoast (527520) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:26PM (#46290029)
    It's good to see some real competition, but it's disappointing that most of the locations chosen are simply further upgrading areas that already have a large tech presence. In some ways, it almost feels like it's further growing the gap between technologically advanced cities and the rest of the country.
    • None of the cities in the Atlanta area could be considered technologically advanced. Most of them are actually just suburbs, and not well-off suburbs at that. Sandy Springs would be the only well-off exception.

      As an example, the cities of College Park, Hapeville and East Point don't have a single Walmart between them, One is about to open soon and the residents are thrilled to finally have a shopping option. Compare that to a more typical suburb which might have several stores and protesters blocking m

      • None of the cities in the Atlanta area could be considered technologically advanced. Most of them are actually just suburbs, and not well-off suburbs at that. Sandy Springs would be the only well-off exception.

        Decatur and the northeastern half of the City of Atlanta are well-off, along with Roswell and Alpharetta. Metro Atlanta is a pretty big tech hub (mostly the midtown and buckhead neighborhoods in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Roswell and Alpharetta, plus some in Duluth).

        What those three cities DO have is ple

    • by satsuke (263225)

      While Kansas City has some tech companies (Sprint, Cerner, Garmin) and a fair number of engineering firms .. it's not exactly a burgeoning tech center.

  • No NYC (Score:4, Funny)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:37PM (#46290121) Homepage
    Crap, we're not on the list. Somehow, even the biggest city in the US can't get a decent fiber roll-out. That's how you know the "population density" arguments are BS.
    • by MattGWU (86623)

      Are you crazy? The Northeast will never, ever, ever see this.

      • Yeah, well apparently we won't see decent internet from anyone else, either. DSL is unavailable. Verizon has no plans to install FIOS. I thought it was bad being stuck with TWC, but with the Comcast purchase, it's going from bad to worse.
    • Google is just looking for Low hanging fruit, to make it seem like they are making a change, while side stepping solving the problem.

      We got Big Cities NY, LA, Boston... That Google will not go too, because they will have a big fight against the current carriers.
      We got Rural and small cities area... That need band with too, however Google won't go there because they are too small to sound good. So they go with these mid sized cites.

      Not doing evil, doesn't mean you are doing good.

      • by danlip (737336)

        Or they are using the low hanging fruit to learn the ropes, and will eventually tackle the harder regions (if they turn a profit).

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Using low hanging fruit to let consumers and citizen know there are actual alternatives is being good.

    • by jader3rd (2222716)

      Crap, we're not on the list. Somehow, even the biggest city in the US can't get a decent fiber roll-out. That's how you know the "population density" arguments are BS.

      NYC has bureaucracy. Apparently sufficient bureaucracy to overcome the advantages of population density.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Same for L.A. area! :(

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Even ignoring the bureaucracy and lobbying, the problem for NYC is that its so heavily built up (and with such a tangle of infrastructure already) that trying to run fiber would be a nightmare. Not to mention trying to convince the owners of all the 100s of apartment buildings and such to let Google (or anyone else) roll out new infrastructure into those buildings with all the disruption and things that entails.

      • ...none of which changes the fact that I have shitty internet, and the "free market" is showing no signs of fixing it.
  • by sckienle (588934) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:42PM (#46290181)
    If Google really wanted to prove out fiber, they would look to a less densely populated area. Consider what putting fiber successfully and profitably in a more rural area would do: pretty much kill the "It's too expensive" arguments for pretty much anywhere. Google needs to be put their weight and minds in trying to solve the last mile problem for all of America, not just the easy parts.
    • by PRMan (959735)
      Would be nice, but they are in it to make money. And they need a certain number of subscribers to do it.
  • Comcast TW merger is a disaster in the making.
    OTOH, Google does not control that much video content (utube not withstanding), nor does TW cable. So, it would be a much better fit with Google than with Comcast.
    In addition, Google will no doubt have net neutrality over their lines.
  • What don't these people get about planning and budgets? Atlanta? It probably costs 50x more to bring equipment in, bury fiber, close roads, house the workers, etc in a huge city than it does in a small to medium sized city. And what are inner city residents known for? Not having money! Tearing the business district costs EVEN MORE money so despite them having the deep pockets, it's STILL not cost effective. They need to find a 100,000 resident city, tear that up instead, and get middle class citizens
  • Google may or may not consider this a business model, but what it does do is put the DSL & cable internet providers on notice that there may be another option. Since the decline of competition and the retirement of "sharing" that last mile, the only two options have been cable or phone company for internet access. 14 years ago, PacBell was laying fiber to San Diego neighborhoods, that project got canned when AT&T swallowed PacBell. Maybe Google could pick up those strands for $2.00. I'll chip i

  • Now that Google has made their fiber expansion plans public, I expect to see laws drafted (that may or may not pass) in every one of those cities blocking Google fiber in order to protect the existing monopoly/cartel.

    If you want to get fiber into a city, you have to sneak it through without the local telco or cableco knowing, otherwise they will spend every last penny (of their customers money) on lawyers and "campaign donations", in order to prevent new competition

    I have yet to hear of a single fiber rollo

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